A dust collection and storage system in Washington state can’t help the residents of rural communities who depend on the rainwater for drinking water, and it is too costly to maintain, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Center for Biological Diversity.
The report, issued to legislators, state agencies and other stakeholders, says the system is inefficient and can’t handle more than 50 percent of the annual demand.
The system can only handle 1 percent of annual rainfall and the cost to maintain it is so high that the government is forced to take drastic action to fix the problem, according the report.
“In a region where the average annual precipitation is over 100 millimeters, this means that if we had one large dust collection basin, we could provide a decent solution to a serious water shortage,” said Kevin Anderson, executive director of the Center.
“But, because it’s so expensive, we’re not even close.”
The report also notes that dust collection systems can’t store dust and that dust that is not collected from residents or businesses can be released into the air, which can cause serious health impacts.
The dust that settles in the air is often toxic and can damage the lungs, the report said.
The State Water Resources Control Board is in the midst of an effort to install a system that collects rainwater from roofs, to replace a large stormwater collection system that was damaged in a storm in January.
The agency has already replaced one system, which was the largest, and has plans to upgrade the other two.
The new system, called a “rain collector” system, will collect the rain from the roofs and send it to a large storage tank.
The old system, the Rain Collector, has to be removed and replaced every few years.
The existing system, installed in the 1950s, has been closed for decades due to corrosion.
The state’s largest city, Olympia, has one of the lowest water bills in the state, and residents rely on the city’s rainwater collection to meet their water needs.
Residents say they don’t want to pay to have the system closed and will be forced to switch to the Rain Collectors when the system can be repaired.
A proposal to extend the program to more rural areas was introduced last year and is currently in the legislative process.
The proposed system would provide a small amount of water for each household in each village.
In a press release, the Center said the proposal will increase the water supply to more than 5,000 homes in the region.
Anderson said the system needs to be fixed because of the way it works and its impact on rural residents.
“If we don’t fix this, it’s going to be the end of this system,” he said.
“It’s a big system, it takes years and years of investment.
It’s not going to work.”